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Filed under: Family Camping, Nature & Wildlife

A Change of Life–Part 2

February 23, 2011 by · 3 Comments 


This is a continuation from my previous post about the changes in our camping experiences as our children grow up. While our nearly 18 year old daughter, Meghan, traveled with us out east, to camp and tour Boston and Stowe three years ago, she elected to miss our trip to camp in Colorado and New Mexico in summer, 2009 and also our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in summer, 2010. Our son Ryan, now 19, loves the outdoors. He loves to hike and to camp, and, his only goal the past two summers was to get some time outdoors. He accompanied us both years.

Climbing the rock wall

Meghan climbing to the top of the rock wall in Stowe, VT

This year, however, things could be different. For the first time in our 22 years of marriage, Terry and I could be camping alone. We have had children as long as we have known each other. You see, we are a blended family.

Our oldest daughter, Katie, was 3 when Terry and I married. While we did take a few trips alone over the years as vacations from the children, most of those involved airplanes and hotels. Since camping is such a wonderful activity to do with children, we have always had the children, first just Kate alone, then Ryan and Meghan as they came along, with us when we camped.

Ryan’s first camping trip was at about six months of age. It occurred over Memorial Day weekend in a tent in northern Wisconsin. I think we even had a few flurries that first night. He spent the entire weekend in his snowsuit and slept cuddled snugly in my sleeping bag!

Me and Meghan

Me, Meghan and puppies on her last trip with us

This May, Meghan will graduate from high school, and she will go off to college in the fall. This summer, she is planning to audition for the Peter Quince production again.  And Ryan, now in college, will have completed his first year by the time summer rolls around. He is now avidly seeking gainful employment to help finance his education and shore up the monies we have set aside over the years. If he is successful, he will likely have a difficult time taking off for one of our two-week summer excursions. This will be a summer of change.

Atop Mt. Elbert, CO

Atop Mt. Elbert, CO--our first trip without Meghan

Even if he can take a week off, and we decide to break up our trip into smaller increments, it will be a change. Part of the beauty of summer travel is the escape from real life, deadlines, commitments, and the like. If we have to sandwich our two separate weeks between weeks of work and reality, things will not be the same. To be continued…

For more information about where to camp, browse Woodall’s 2011 top-rated RV parks for camping.


3 Responses to “A Change of Life–Part 2”
  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Dr. Berry,
    Tell Ryan(thatz my nephew’s name) try to get a job at a state park or national campground.. It won’t pay much, but it will be an opportunity for y’all to spend time together and he’ll be outdoors… Your vacation time won’t be broken up and it’ll seem more like a vacation… Smooth roads & balmy breezes!!

  2. Diane Berry says:

    What a wonderful idea, Butterbean! Thanks for the suggestion–I’ll get him working on it right away!


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